I was reading this post of Shreve (author of The Daily Coyote) days ago and it made me remember the days when we had the cutest cow. Well, actually, my father had cattle, and goats, chicken, lambs… we had a farm. A big one, with a river and a mountain and all kinds of delicious trees…
Oh, please let me reminiscence those perfect days.
I was in high school, not a care in the world, and my father picked me up in a pick-up truck and we both went to work on the farm. My God I loved it. I could write forever about it. The lazy afternoon strolls after trailing cows, picking up guavas or oranges and eating them while walking under the avocado trees, searching for ripe ones… watching the cows slowly walk by to their place and even running when some wanted to go the wrong way. I loved everything there, the earth, the smells, but most definitely; the animals.
The way my heart melted when I picked up a week old lamb, watching the cows trying to sip their honey instead of licking it, playing with tiny chicks, I lived to see the animals every day. And whenever we had a new arrival I can not even tell you how I bursted with joy, each single time, it was magical.
It was hard work and I also remember all the nights that turned into early mornings whenever we had cattle problems, that infernal night when someone burned our farm and we had to control the fire… it was a sacrifice every day, but it was so satisfying and plain awesome.
Well as I said, I could write forever about this because the stories could fill the internet; but for now I wanted to write about La Cebu. That’s the name of the cutest cow we had. She was a zebu cow, all black I think and she was raised by humans so, she behaved more or less like a dog. When we went out to the field, she followed the truck, she stayed wherever she saw us and she loved to be petted. We carried fresh oranges and mangos for her when we were going to her side and she used to come by, asked to be pet (she bowed loudly several times until she saw someone reaching for her face) and then waited for her treat. What Shreve says about cows not smelling bad, is true too, Cebu was never smelly or horribly dirty. I remember her smiley huge eyes looking at me, her face was very clean, for a cow.
When La Cebu got pregnant we were all so exited. She got pregnant from the most beautiful and arrogant zebu bull in the herd. He thought he was the king of the place and in a way, he was. He beat many other bulls for territory domination and we respected that and him, that’s how it is in nature. Whenever we needed to make a change of some sort, we had to conquer him first and everything would fall in place with the cattle.
Cebu had, after we waited for days in agony, a precious calf that grew into the prettiest rebel bull I’ve ever seen. He was something to behold and he had the biggest attitude, so cocky; he was beautiful and he knew it. I called him Prince. Only my father could touch him and could that young fella jump fences, oh boy.
A highway runs now right through the land that La Cebu once grazed from, but long before it was there, on the day that she was sold, that’s when the farm died.